It is easy to lose perspective on how blessed we are to be citizens of the United States of America. The average American lives in a level of comfort and ease that is profoundly better than over 95% of the rest of the population. I would trust we don’t even need to have statistics to prove that point.
I count myself among this “average American” class. I am just a typical middle-class American who is neither rich or poor. I have things but not the best of things. I have traveled but not lavishly or extensively. I have own homes but nothing extravagant.
Yes, there are serious issues that confronts America and the list will continue to grow. Many of our urban centers have large and growing murder/crime rates. Hatred and divisiveness seem to be winning the day.
Many of our political leaders seems to be the galvanizing force behind much of the hubris that is far too commonplace in the public square. Civility is not a sought after quality. I read of the Evangelicals who celebrated the fact she would rather have a crude speaking President who “got things done” than a “slick talking” politician who does not accomplish much. Maybe I am just goofy but I reject both and will either find a suitable third option or just refrain from aligning myself politically with either of the first two.
Having acknowledged this and recognizing much more could be said I am still prepared to posit Americans in general and myself in particular have much to be thankful.
Evangelicals, more so than any other group, should embrace and model this particular worldview. We stand as redeemed men and women who now enjoy the peace of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. We have been rescued from the slave market and been set free.
It is so easy to become so focused on the temporal we forget about the eternal perspective believers are taught they should have. We are told no amount of suffering can compare to the glory that awaits us.
This is not “escapism” or “pie in the sky” theology. We readily acknowledge the fallen nature of our present world. We don’t attempt to pretend the issues are not real and vexing. We grieve and we long to be at rest. We cry real tears, we experience genuine heartache and pain. Our lives intersect with disappointment, some caused by others but the rest the direct cause of our own moral failing.
Acknowledging all of that and so much more we still are resolved to never be people without hope. Not the type of hope sport fans hold regarding their favorite sport team. Instead, our hope, our confident, is in a person who lived in time and space. Someone who actually became one of us. Someone who while fully human was fully Divine.
Our sin is real but our redemption is equally real so we are people of thanks. Never absolute thanks or perfect thanks but a consistent ever growing thanks as we learn through the school of hard knocks that God is real and He has a masterful plan for our lives.
Millions of Evangelicals will gather for football, rise early to participate in Black Friday shopping excursions and a host of other Thanksgiving Holiday traditions. Yet, the most important many Evangelicals will do is pause and reflect. Reflect and think about the past year with all of its “ups and downs,” “highs and lows,” and all of the steps forwards mingled with backward steps.”
We will find the spiritual resolve and impetus to give thanks to our Creator who has redeemed us from the murk and mire. The Creator who spared no expense in securing our salvation and is ensuring dwelling places are being made ready for our soon arrival.
The pulse at which I talk increases ever so slightly as I contemplate this certain future. I am thankful, not so much for what God has done and He has done plenty. I am thankful for who God is. I am thankful just because. I confess not much has changed from my life at this time last year and I would not have been able or in the frame of mind to write this blog last year. The one thing that has changed is my perspective. I am learning to think with eternity in mind. I am seeking to “play the long game.” Satan tricked me into focusing on what I could see instead of trusting God by faith.
I commend to anyone who providentially read this blog to change your perspective. It won’t necessarily change your situation but it will allow God to conform you to the image of His Dear Son.
Happy Thanksgiving and I would love to hear your feedback. Until then keep your hand to the plow